SUNY’s Purchase Campus Goes LED, Saving Taxpayers $161,000 Annually

by | Jul 31, 2018

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The State University of New York (SUNY) has completed the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting throughout its Purchase campus, including outdoor street lighting and within several buildings. The upgrades will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 727 tons a year, in addition to saving taxpayers more than $161,000 annually.

SUNY worked with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to make the upgrades. The $1.3 million project included the installation of high-efficiency LED lighting at the Performing Arts Center and the library, in addition to LED lighting being installed in the campus streetlights, which will improve safety for pedestrians and drivers, the school reports.

The project has helped the college to achieve approximately 30% of its lighting from energy efficient LEDs, resulting in overall lower emissions and cost savings. NYPA financed and implemented the project, which was carried out under Governor Cuomo’s BuildSmart NY program, a comprehensive statewide initiative to increase energy efficiency in public buildings.

“Enhancements in LED lighting are making it more affordable to implement large-scale changes to our facilities, and the work at Purchase College is evidence of this,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson.“The campus will realize a significant annual energy savings in a shorter period of time, thereby creating a greater return on its overall investment.”

 Upgrading to energy efficient LED technology, which costs roughly $370,000 more than a similar replacement to the existing lighting equipment, allows Purchase College to achieve a payback on its incremental investment in energy efficiency in less than two and a half years.

In addition to the completion of the lighting improvements, NYPA has recently selected Purchase College as a demonstration site for an innovative thermal energy storage project, which will improve energy efficiency, increase reliability and save money. As a result of its longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, Purchase College ranks among the SUNY system’s top-ten schools in terms of energy usage reduction and has made Princeton Review’s Greenest Colleges list several times.

Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, SUNY and NYPA have partnered to complete energy-saving projects at more than 530 SUNY facilities, reducing energy consumption by more than 5.3 megawatts, removing nearly 42,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, and saving $8.5 million annually. SUNY and NYPA are currently partnering to implement energy-saving measures at more than 100 additional SUNY buildings — those projects, once completed, will reduce SUNY’s energy consumption by an additional 5.4 megawatts.

BuildSmart NY, launched by Governor Cuomo in 2012, calls for an increase in energy efficiency in state government buildings by 20% by 2020. Through 2017, state buildings have thus far reduced their energy use by more than 11% under the program, resulting in an estimated $45 million in avoided energy costs and 222,000 tons of avoided greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 alone. In addition, energy efficiency and renewable projects currently being developed and installed will lead to a further reduction in energy use in state buildings by an estimated 5.3%, resulting in a collective 16.4% reduction from the baseline year.

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